David Drumm, 48, the former Anglo Irish Bank CEO now in jail in Massachusetts awaiting an extradition hearing, has offered to return immediately to Ireland to face court charges arising from his alleged criminal behavior at Anglo Irish -- if the Irish government does not oppose bail while he is preparing for the trial.
If the offer is not accepted the banker will stay in the U.S. and fight the extradition warrant, which will likely take several years. Legal sources told IrishCentral he stands a good chance of obtaining bail in the U.S. once his extradition hearing commences in March.
A source close to Drumm stated that the need for assurance on bail “is because of David's fear that he cannot get a fair trial in Ireland and needs to be able to mount his defense outside of detention. The cases are likely to go on for years and it would be unimaginable that he would not be permitted to deal with this while on bail “
The source added, “He is not asking them for anything he is a not already entitled to – bail is a constitutional right in Ireland as long as you pass the tests: One, no flight risk; two, no danger to the community; or three, no likelihood of committing another crime while on bail. His offer in January 2015 to the U.S. attorney to cooperate fully and two judges in the U.S. federal courts declining to find him a flight risk demonstrate clearly his position. In essence all he is asking for in return is what he is constitutionally entitled to.”
The former top Irish banker is currently being held in a Massachusetts jail awaiting an extradition case composed of 33 charges, including forgery, false accounting and conspiracy to defraud at Anglo before his resignation in December 2008. The charges have been brought against him by the Irish government. He was arrested and held for extradition by US Marshals in October 2015.
Sources close to Drumm say he has been willing since January 2015 to return to Ireland and has made several approaches to the Irish government since October offering to return on consent with his only requirements that the government agrees to bail. All approaches have been ignored in favour of continuing an extradition process which may very well be, in Drumm’s lawyers’ opinions, illegal as the Irish government never formally asked Drumm to return, meaning his fugitive status is a fabrication.
“It would seem ludicrous that the Irish government would prefer a lengthy extradition battle fought in the U.S. over a return on consent to deal with the allegations and charges,” the source added.
Drumm’s backers say they believe the tide has turned since Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole wrote a column stating that Drumm needed the same legal protections as anyone else, even more so because he is a reviled figure in many quarters.
Drumm backers say the Irish government has acted illegally in asking Massachusetts judges to ban bail for him.
"Ireland (through the U.S. Attorney) has specifically asked that the defendant be detained pending his return to Ireland, underscoring rather than undermining the diplomatic necessity for detention,” said a Drumm source.
“This was a major point in our appeal -- there were no documents, papers or evidence of this before the court and we were shocked that this was in the judgment and pointed out that there was no evidence of this whatsoever. The Irish authorities have no legal basis to make such a demand and indeed it's against the Irish Constitution.
“An Irish court may make such a determination following testimony but the state is not entitled to demand this of the U.S. government. The only explanation we can deduce is that the U.S. Attorney privately and Ex Parte indicated this to the judge as it is not contained in any filing or papers in any part of the case. You can see from this alone that the conduct of the Irish government is very sinister.”
Drumm, from Skerries in Dublin, is married to Lorraine and they have two daughters. His large extended family has been very active in his defense.